The doc told me yesterday that my brother Mike might not make it unless I approved her request for intubation. Apparently the urgent need for a ventilator evaporated some time overnight. Mike can’t fend for himself. He is low functioning, autistic and nonverbal. Today, on a conference call with Dave, my younger brother, Mike’s group home staff and a hospital representative, we were told that Mike’s problems were resolving without a ventilator. We were not given much more than that. The low-level hospital staffer on the call, thumbing through Mike’s record, could not find some information requested by the group home professionals, and had to be prodded to complete her answers.
After the conference call, I had a video visit with Mike. I saw that his oxygen mask was strapped on. I assume that his arms were also tied down, which is reasonable given his tendency to remove his tubes. I only hope that they keep watch for signs of distress.
I have had a lot of experience advocating for my loved ones in the hospital and, I can tell you that the staff pay attention to a visitor with a pen and a clip board who asks questions and takes notes. Indications are that first level staff are giving Mike attention, but the missing layer of patient advocacy, personal attention by loved ones, is a cause for worry.